Written by: #TomasoAramini
The story of a man from Verona countryside who devoted his life and political experience to his communist ideals until he challenged NATO.
At the front of any documentary should be an interesting figure or period of time. For The Lost Shoes, it’s Armando Lanza. Once an alter boy, quickly turned politics hungry idealist, Lanza’s eventful life is broken up into many sections focusing on the rise and “fall” of his time as a revolutionary through the sympathetic lens of directors Tomaso Aramini and Rafqfuad Yarahmadi.
The Lost Shoes is a bit of an information overhaul, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when the pacing isn’t exactly consistent across the board it can bring the dreaded feeling of boredom. Lanza’s life is interesting, though. This exploration of his beginnings in The Red Brigades, to his internal growth as an individual, finally reflecting on his experiences, feels hefty and full of wisdom. Lanza is the interviewee but also takes lead as the interviewer in many sections of this sparsely entertaining documentary, which allows him the chance to be more vulnerable with his insights and learnings.
I will mention how great the music by Eugenio Vatta is. Scoring a documentary, especially one with this much heavy content, is no easy task. Yet Vatta’s droning ambience (later accompanied by beautiful wind instruments) only amplifies on the archival footage’s outrageous and violent nature, creating quite a visceral experience that almost makes the documentary engaging. Perhaps it’s me, but the delivery of important information is presented in a way that made it difficult for me to properly feel taught, at least for the first forty or so minutes. Thankfully the film does pick up from around the hour mark, and the structure of information being thrown at you feels more juicy, you can let it soak in.
Though the directors try to paint Lanza as someone to sympathise with, it’s not easy to do so. He was involved in a grisly organisation which did terrible things, so although he seems like a gentle, caring person, there’s that underlying darkness beneath. That’s not to say he hasn’t learned from his experience, or hasn’t changed — he seems to have, certainly — it’s just difficult for the viewer to find a connection. The Lost Shoes is a mixed bag of intriguing and tedious discussion, that holds some good moments amongst some less so. It’s an intriguing watch, I’ll give it that.
Watch the trailer for The Lost Shoes below.